Deuteronomy
Introduction 1-6 Purpose of the Journey Through the Wilderness 7-10 Blessings and Gratitude 11-16 Do Not Forget the LORD 17-18 Only in the Power of the LORD 19-20 If the LORD Is Forgotten
Introduction

Deuteronomy 7 is about the dedication, the sanctification of the people to God. Deuteronomy 8 is another retrospective of the journey through the wilderness. Here is spoken about the ways of God with the people, but not about the unfaithfulness of the people. This is in Deuteronomy 9. It’s about how He let them go through all kinds of difficult circumstances. The purpose of this is to get to know their own heart, their own inability to face the difficulties, and then to trust Him. The application for us we find in Romans 8 (Rom 8:2828And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to [His] purpose.).


Purpose of the Journey Through the Wilderness

1“All the commandments that I am commanding you today you shall be careful to do, that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the LORD swore [to give] to your forefathers. 2You shall remember all the way which the LORD your God has led you in the wilderness these forty years, that He might humble you, testing you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. 3He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD. 4Your clothing did not wear out on you, nor did your foot swell these forty years. 5Thus you are to know in your heart that the LORD your God was disciplining you just as a man disciplines his son. 6Therefore, you shall keep the commandments of the LORD your God, to walk in His ways and to fear Him.

Everything that Moses speaks to the people has the goal that the people will live the true life. And they will not only live, but there will also be multiplication of life. Life is not only about staying alive, but also about growing. The climate in which this life thrives is the climate of the promised land. The commandments contain so to say the raw materials for optimal enjoyment and growth of life, for increasing the quality and quantity of life.

At this special point in the life of the people of God, between the wilderness and the land, Moses calls for remembrance, to look back on the forty years behind them. Forty is the number of trial. The life of every day shows me what is in my heart. But God also shows what is in His heart. The question is what lessons we learn from the past to enter the land.

God humbles us, for every experience in the wilderness leads to more self-knowledge. Before we get to know ourselves through the trials, He sends us, there is usually a lot of self-deception with us. We do not get to know ourselves when we are in the meeting on the first day of the week, but rather in the life of every day, the wilderness life. God’s Word tells me that there is nothing good in me and that I am capable of all evil. Yet I do not believe, for example, how adrift I can become before I am bullied by another person and see what I am capable of. And only when I am as hungry as the others around me, I experience how selfish I am.

God deliberately lets us suffer hunger, so that we may gain more appreciation for the manna. Through the suffering of want we learn to know the inexhaustible resources of God. This is a great encouragement to the faith. The Lord Jesus connects hunger with the manna and with Himself, “the true bread out of heaven” (Jn 6:3232Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread out of heaven, but it is My Father who gives you the true bread out of heaven.). He says that He Himself – He is the eternal life – is the blessing of the land. In the wilderness we learn to know the Lord Jesus as the food that gives us strength to live in the wilderness to the glory of God, as He has lived here to the glory of God.

It also teaches us that our lives depend on all the words that emanate from the mouth of God. The people have the manna because it falls from heaven by His word, by His command. Not living from ‘bread alone’ means that man cannot live from bread obtained in independence or apart from His Word.

The Lord Jesus has walked in all the ways of God. He always stretched out His hand to the Word, He lived from it. He knew that God had not given the stones to his food and that the Father could give him food without therefore having to do a miracle (Mt 4:3-43And the tempter came and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”4But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.’”).

The food for our body is not the most important thing, but the food for our soul. Living with the Word of God is not only for the difficult cases, but for all circumstances, for every step we take.

God gives not only food, but also clothing. We put on clothes. Thus we put on the Lord Jesus (Gal 3:2727For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.; Eph 4:2424and put on the new self [lit man], which in [the likeness of] God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.; Rom 13:1414But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to [its] lusts.; Col 3:10,1210and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him—12So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience;). This clothing does not wear out. Clothing represents our outer revelation, what people see of us. Is that Christ? Every revelation of me in word and deed that is to the glory of God, I recognize in the life of the Lord Jesus on earth. There I see those principles illustrated.

The discipline or punishment that strikes us comes from the hand of a loving God. It is a proof of His love for us (Heb 12:4-114You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin;5and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons, “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, Nor faint when you are reproved by Him;6For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, And He scourges every son whom He receives.”7It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom [his] father does not discipline?8But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.9Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live?10For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He [disciplines us] for [our] good, so that we may share His holiness.11All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.). It speaks of His pleasure in those whom He has chosen as sons to Himself (Pro 3:11-1211My son, do not reject the discipline of the LORD
Or loathe His reproof,
12For whom the LORD loves He reproves,
Even as a father [corrects] the son in whom he delights.
; cf. Pro 29:1717Correct your son, and he will give you comfort;
He will also delight your soul.
). The true Son has been perfectly a pleasure to the Father: “And behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased” (Mt 3:1717and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.”). He needs no punishment or chastisement. The chastisement is not an end in itself, but aims to keep everything out of life and the heart that is not to a pleasure. Discipline is proof that we are sons. God wants us to share in His holiness by chastisement.

There is no book in the Old Testament that shows us so much of what the New Testament calls eternal life than the book Deuteronomy. Eternal life is the life of God Himself. Deuteronomy 8-9 show us what is in our hearts and also paint the blessings of the land. Everything is “to do good for you in the end” (verse 1616In the wilderness He fed you manna which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do good for you in the end.). That’s how God is.

Deuteronomy 9 shows a rebellious people. The fact that we are a rebellious people is a discovery we make in the wilderness. Every ‘wilderness experience’ shows me a little more that there is nothing in me that would allow God to give me His blessings. We are rebellious in ourselves from redemption onwards. This discovery must lead us to the deep humiliation.

In John 3, the Lord Jesus speaks of heavenly things. He calls it: the eternal life. We see this in the picture of the copper serpent and the meaning He gives to it (Jn 3:12-1512If I told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?13No one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven: the Son of Man.14As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up;15so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life.). This is not a picture of how a sinner converts, but shows a phase in the history of the people of God, that is the end phase of the journey through the wilderness. After forty years, the people have not changed anything and see how they can still fall.

A new birth is not enough to understand eternal life. Everything you are by nature must be brought to the cross. To this end the experiences of the wilderness bring. There too, eternal life is known by looking up to the cross. We can say that the blessing of the land is summarized in: the eternal life. This blessing is enjoyed where brothers and sisters live together (Psa 133:1-31A Song of Ascents, of David.
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is
For brothers to dwell together in unity!
2It is like the precious oil upon the head,
Coming down upon the beard,
[Even] Aaron’s beard,
Coming down upon the edge of his robes.
3It is like the dew of Hermon
Coming down upon the mountains of Zion;
For there the LORD commanded the blessing—life forever.
), that is to say, being at peace with one another to enjoy their fellowship with God and Christ and with one another.


Blessings and Gratitude

7For the LORD your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, flowing forth in valleys and hills; 8a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey; 9a land where you will eat food without scarcity, in which you will not lack anything; a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills you can dig copper. 10When you have eaten and are satisfied, you shall bless the LORD your God for the good land which He has given you.

The waters of the land we find in the Gospel of John. There the Lord Jesus speaks of “rivers of living water”, that is the Holy Spirit (Jn 7:37-3937Now on the last day, the great [day] of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink.38He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’”39But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet [given], because Jesus was not yet glorified.). The waters – “the brooks, fountains and springs” – are needed to bring out the fruit of the land. We need the Holy Spirit to understand the blessings.

The Lord Jesus came to declare us the Father. Knowing the Father, that is eternal life (Jn 17:33This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.). The Holy Spirit has come to be in us “a well of water springing up to eternal life” (Jn 4:14b14but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”). The Holy Spirit is in us to give us the enjoyment of eternal life. The “brooks of water” are the streams that flow out of our innermost being by the power of the Holy Spirit (Jn 7:3838He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’”). We do not keep the blessings of the eternal life for ourselves, but pass them on to others. The “fountains and springs” are found in everything the Lord Jesus speaks to His disciples in the upper room and then to His Father (John 14-17). In those chapters he says a lot about the Holy Spirit.

These are all waters other than those of Deuteronomy 6 (Deu 6:1111and houses full of all good things which you did not fill, and hewn cisterns which you did not dig, vineyards and olive trees which you did not plant, and you eat and are satisfied,). There it is about self-dug wells with a collection of water, that is what others have drawn. Here too we can refresh ourselves. But here in Deuteronomy 8 it is directly the Holy Spirit. These waters are in valleys and hills, in the depths and on the heights of faith. The fruit in the land is everything that we learn to distinguish from the blessings of the land by the Holy Spirit.

Moses in his speech repeatedly speaks to the Israelites in the plains of Moab about “the good land” they will inherit (Deu 1:3535‘Not one of these men, this evil generation, shall see the good land which I swore to give your fathers,; 3:2525Let me, I pray, cross over and see the fair land that is beyond the Jordan, that good hill country and Lebanon.’; 4:21-2221“Now the LORD was angry with me on your account, and swore that I would not cross the Jordan, and that I would not enter the good land which the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance.22For I will die in this land, I shall not cross the Jordan, but you shall cross and take possession of this good land.; 6:1818You shall do what is right and good in the sight of the LORD, that it may be well with you and that you may go in and possess the good land which the LORD swore to [give] your fathers,). After exploring Canaan, Caleb even speaks of an “exceedingly good land” (Num 14:77and they spoke to all the congregation of the sons of Israel, saying, “The land which we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land.). It is “a land flowing with milk and honey” (Deu 6:33O Israel, you should listen and be careful to do [it], that it may be well with you and that you may multiply greatly, just as the LORD, the God of your fathers, has promised you, [in] a land flowing with milk and honey.). The good land forms a great contrast with the great and terrible wilderness through which they have gone.

Here we find a detailed description of the land in which the LORD will bring them. In this description, the word “land” is mentioned seven times, indicating that it is a land where God gives perfect blessing. The land is:
1. a good land (verses 7a,10b7For the LORD your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, flowing forth in valleys and hills;10When you have eaten and are satisfied, you shall bless the LORD your God for the good land which He has given you.);
2. a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs (verse 7b7For the LORD your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, flowing forth in valleys and hills;);
3. a land of wheat and barley, of vines, fig trees and pomegranates (verse 8a8a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey;);
4. a land of olive oil and honey (verse 8b8a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey;);
5. a land where there will be no poverty and no want of anything (verse 9a9a land where you will eat food without scarcity, in which you will not lack anything; a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills you can dig copper.);
6. a land whose stones are iron and where one can dig copper out of the hills (verse 9b9a land where you will eat food without scarcity, in which you will not lack anything; a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills you can dig copper.);
7. a land of praise for the rich blessing, the abundance which God has given them (verse 1010When you have eaten and are satisfied, you shall bless the LORD your God for the good land which He has given you.).

Life in the promised land is a richly blessed life. Thus Christ now gives life and abundance to His own. He says: “I came that they may have life, and have [it] abundantly” (Jn 10:1010The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have [it] abundantly.). For that they may thank Him also.

This blessing of the land gives a picture of the multitude of blessings that the Christian finds in the heavenly places. “The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly [places] in Christ,” (Eph 1:33Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly [places] in Christ,). Our blessings are related to the knowledge of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Our position as children, sons and heirs is based on this. This should also result in great gratitude and praise with us for the Source of our blessing, as the Apostle also clearly states: “Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Eph 1:3a3Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly [places] in Christ,)!

The land is well supplied with water. God takes care of that. The streams of water are a picture of the heavenly gift we have received as believers in the Holy Spirit of Whom we are “given to drink” (1Cor 12:1313For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.). It is the Spirit who opens up to us and makes fruitful the good land which we have received as Christians, the land of blessing in the heavenly realms. If we sow in this “field”, we will “reap eternal life out of the Spirit” (Gal 6:88For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.). Eternal life, the precious fruit of the good land promised to us, is the knowledge of and the life community with the Father and the Son: “This is eternal life, that they know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ Who sent You” (Jn 17:33This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.).

That there is “a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs” is a sign of the abundance and rich working of the Spirit. When we think of “brooks of water”, we should not think of small, shallow waters, but of rivers and streams (Psa 65:9-109You visit the earth and cause it to overflow;
You greatly enrich it;
The stream of God is full of water;
You prepare their grain, for thus You prepare the earth.
10You water its furrows abundantly,
You settle its ridges,
You soften it with showers,
You bless its growth.
). The Spirit is the “well of water springing up to eternal life” (Jn 4:1414but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”). The “springs” are deep waters, floods of water, originating from subterranean water reservoirs – see the blessing of Joseph (Gen 49:2525From the God of your father who helps you,
And by the Almighty who blesses you
[With] blessings of heaven above,
Blessings of the deep that lies beneath,
Blessings of the breasts and of the womb.
; Deu 33:1313Of Joseph he said,
“Blessed of the LORD [be] his land,
With the choice things of heaven, with the dew,
And from the deep lying beneath,
). Here we can think of “the depths of God” (1Cor 2:1010For to us God revealed [them] through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God.), the mysteries of the wisdom of God, as revealed by the Spirit and recorded in the scriptures of the New Testament.

The waters can be found everywhere in the land, on the mountains and in the valleys. They appear in the valleys, but also in the mountains (Eze 31:3-43‘Behold, Assyria [was] a cedar in Lebanon
With beautiful branches and forest shade,
And very high,
And its top was among the clouds.
4‘The waters made it grow, the deep made it high.
With its rivers it continually extended all around its planting place,
And sent out its channels to all the trees of the field.
). God “does not give the Spirit in moderation” (Jn 3:3434For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God; for He gives the Spirit without measure.). If we cannot perceive the working of the Spirit in our lives, we must first seek the cause of it in ourselves. We can grieve the Spirit (Eph 4:3030Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.) and even extinguish it, or extinguish it (1Thes 5:1919Do not quench the Spirit;).

The fountains in the valleys point more to the working of the Spirit here below, on earth. He dwells in us on earth and fills our hearts and our lives. The springs on the hills remind us of Christ in glory Who has clothed us with power from on high (Lk 24:4949And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”).

The fruit that the land produces is seven-fold. Egypt has only six ‘fruits’: “The fish …, the cucumbers and the melons and the leeks and the onions and the garlic’ (Num 11:55We remember the fish which we used to eat free in Egypt, the cucumbers and the melons and the leeks and the onions and the garlic,).

The first fruits of the land that are mentioned are “wheat and barley”. In Leviticus 23 is the sheaf of the first fruits of the barley harvest; the two wave breads at the Feast of Weeks are of the wheat harvest. The sheaf of the first fruits speaks of the Lord Jesus in the resurrection; the wave breads speak of the church, the heavenly fruit of the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus.

Barley and wheat appear in the Gospel to John. In John 6 we read of “five barley loaves” (Jn 6:99“There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are these for so many people?”). That makes us think of the resurrection. Four times in that chapter the Lord Jesus speaks about the resurrection and that in connection with eternal life. He is the bread that descended from heaven. Eternal life is resurrection life that we can possess because the Lord Jesus passed through death and rose.

In John 12 we read about the wheat: “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit” (Jn 12:2424Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.). There we see that life is not only resurrection life, but that it is heavenly life. The Lord Jesus speaks there about life to “keep it to life eternal” (Jn 12:2525He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal.), which is enjoyed when we are with Him and the Father. Death then has no more power over us.

The third fruit comes from the “vines”. The wine is a picture of joy. In John 15, the Lord Jesus speaks of true, complete joy. The result of the connection with the Lord Jesus and the keeping of the commandments is joy (Jn 15:10-1110If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.11These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and [that] your joy may be made full.). The bond of love and fellowship is knowing each other and leads to keeping the commandments that are characteristic of eternal life. Complete joy is the joy of knowing the Father and the Son.

The fourth, fifth and sixth fruits come from “fig trees and pomegranates” and “olive oil”. These fruits we find in the letters of Paul. The fig tree speaks of the “peaceful fruit of righteousness” (Heb 12:1111All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.), the pomegranate of the “fruit of sanctification” (Rom 6:2222But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life.) and the olive tree of “the fruit of the Spirit” (Gal 5:2222But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,).

The fig tree is a picture of the people of God from whom God could expect fruits. However, the fig tree has not given fruit and is cursed (Mt 21:18-1918Now in the morning, when He was returning to the city, He became hungry.19Seeing a lone fig tree by the road, He came to it and found nothing on it except leaves only; and He *said to it, “No longer shall there ever be [any] fruit from you.” And at once the fig tree withered.). After their sin, Adam and Eve “sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings” (Gen 3:7b7Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings.), as if they could exist for God. But a self-made garment, a garment of own righteousness, is reprehensible.

The fruit of righteousness originates from chastisement. Chastisement is the part of sons in whom the Father has a pleasure. He uses chastisement to remove what is not to His pleasure in those sons. The Father wants to become conformed to the image of His Son (Rom 8:2929For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined [to become] conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;). Chastisement is not pleasant, but gives that fruit of righteousness (Heb 12:1111All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.).

Pomegranates have to do with the high priest, the sanctuary and a closed garden:
1. They are on the high priest’s garment (Exo 39:24-2624They made pomegranates of blue and purple and scarlet [material and] twisted [linen] on the hem of the robe.25They also made bells of pure gold, and put the bells between the pomegranates all around on the hem of the robe,26alternating a bell and a pomegranate all around on the hem of the robe for the service, just as the LORD had commanded Moses.).
2. They are also on the capitals of the pillars in the temple (1Kgs 7:18,20,4218So he made the pillars, and two rows around on the one network to cover the capitals which were on the top of the pomegranates; and so he did for the other capital.20[There were] capitals on the two pillars, even above [and] close to the rounded projection which was beside the network; and the pomegranates [numbered] two hundred in rows around both capitals.42and the four hundred pomegranates for the two networks, two rows of pomegranates for each network to cover the two bowls of the capitals which [were] on the tops of the pillars;).
3. They are mentioned when the bridegroom compares his bride to a garden with pomegranate trees that is locked and is only open for him (Song 4:12-1312“A garden locked is my sister, [my] bride,
A rock garden locked, a spring sealed up.13“Your shoots are an orchard of pomegranates
With choice fruits, henna with nard plants,
).
It is a fruit that speaks of sanctification.

Olive trees speak of an abundance of activity of the Spirit. The fruit of the Spirit is the fruit of the land (Gal 5:2222But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,). There is no law – which is given to man in the flesh on earth – against such things. “The one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life” (Gal 6:88For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.).

The seventh and last fruit, the “honey”, is not a fruit of trees, but a fruit produced by the zeal of bees. It is the sweetness of the affection of believers among themselves. It proposes to enjoy together with all believers the blessing of eternal life. God wants to gather His people together to enjoy with them of the Lord Jesus. In his first letter John speaks first of fellowship with the apostles and then of fellowship with the Father and the Son (1Jn 1:33what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.).

The mineral resources (verse 99a land where you will eat food without scarcity, in which you will not lack anything; a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills you can dig copper.) are the most difficult to discover. To deepen this, a lot of effort is required. Not all blessings are on the surface. “Iron” and “copper” speak of strength. Iron speaks of victory; copper speaks of a righteousness so great that it can endure the judgment of God (Num 16:37-3837“Say to Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, that he shall take up the censers out of the midst of the blaze, for they are holy; and you scatter the burning coals abroad.38As for the censers of these men who have sinned at the cost of their lives, let them be made into hammered sheets for a plating of the altar, since they did present them before the LORD and they are holy; and they shall be for a sign to the sons of Israel.”).

In the blessing which Moses pronounces on Asher, he says that his bars will be iron and bronze (Deu 33:2525“Your locks will be iron and bronze,
And according to your days, so will your leisurely walk be.
). When the wall around Jerusalem is rebuilt, the bars for the sheep gate are not mentioned; apparently, they are forgotten to be placed (Neh 3:11Then Eliashib the high priest arose with his brothers the priests and built the Sheep Gate; they consecrated it and hung its doors. They consecrated the wall to the Tower of the Hundred [and] the Tower of Hananel.; cf. Neh 3:33Now the sons of Hassenaah built the Fish Gate; they laid its beams and hung its doors with its bolts and bars.). If the bars are not on the doors, the enemy can enter and rob us of the blessings.

In Job 28 we see the bars on the doors. They are hidden and the eye of the raptor has not discovered them. Iron and copper can be found, but wisdom, where is she found? But God knows, “God understands its way” (Job 28:2323“God understands its way,
And He knows its place.
). The answer comes some verses further: “And to man He said, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; And to depart from evil is understanding’” (Job 28:2828“And to man He said, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom;
And to depart from evil is understanding.’”
). For the avoidance of evil, to forbid it entrance, iron and copper are suitable. True wisdom and real understanding are awe for the Lord and depart from evil, they are the basic elements to preserve the blessing of the land.

It is a land of abundance, where the believer has no shortage of anything. The effect of all the blessings enjoyed must be that we praise God for it. Praising the Lord for all His blessings also prevents us from forgetting Him. If all Christians knew and appreciated the blessing of the land, the land would be full of praise (Eph 3:2121to Him [be] the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.). Heaven shall be full of praise to God, the Giver of every blessing, and to the Lamb, by Whom it has become possible for us to receive the full blessing.


Do Not Forget the LORD

11“Beware that you do not forget the LORD your God by not keeping His commandments and His ordinances and His statutes which I am commanding you today; 12otherwise, when you have eaten and are satisfied, and have built good houses and lived [in them], 13and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and gold multiply, and all that you have multiplies, 14then your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God who brought you out from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. 15He led you through the great and terrible wilderness, [with its] fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty ground where there was no water; He brought water for you out of the rock of flint. 16In the wilderness He fed you manna which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do good for you in the end.

Again Moses makes the warning sound to remember the LORD. God knows our hearts. He knows that even possessing everything that speaks of His goodness can make us proud of what He has given us as if we had acquired it ourselves. We can be proud of our piety. But blessings do not give strength. Only the awareness that everything is grace preserves us from pride.

We become proud when we forget that we are lost sinners by nature and that we have been freed from a hopeless position by God. We also become proud when we forget how He saved us as Christians from so many dangers on our way. We become proud when we forget how He took care of us and gave us everything we needed.

He leads our way in such a way that we do not become proud, but humble, and will see that what matters to Him is to do good for us in the end. Just when we are humble, we are in a condition that we can enjoy all the blessings He has given us.


Only in the Power of the LORD

17Otherwise, you may say in your heart, ‘My power and the strength of my hand made me this wealth.’ 18But you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who is giving you power to make wealth, that He may confirm His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as [it is] this day.

It is important to realize that we did not receive the blessing in our own power, but that the power of God has made everything available to us. All the experience of our own powerlessness and the rescues of the Lord are also meant to preserve us from attributing something we have received to our own merit.

God has given us strength to know what our blessings are. It is the power with which He raised Christ from the dead and seated Him to His right hand (Eph 1:19-2019and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. [These are] in accordance with the working of the strength of His might20which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly [places],). It is this power, united with His mercy, that has united us with Christ in heaven and has given us all the blessings (Eph 2:4-74But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,5even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),6and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly [places] in Christ Jesus,7so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.).

All the acts of God in favor and goodness are based on His promises and counsels. We may look at it as already fulfilled. We are blessed now with all spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, based on His election before the foundation of the world (Eph 1:3-43Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly [places] in Christ,4just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him in love.).


If the LORD Is Forgotten

19It shall come about if you ever forget the LORD your God and go after other gods and serve them and worship them, I testify against you today that you will surely perish. 20Like the nations that the LORD makes to perish before you, so you shall perish; because you would not listen to the voice of the LORD your God.

The consequence of forgetting the LORD will be that they will worship other gods. That in turn will lead to their perdition. If they want an example of how they will perish, they only need to remember how Sihon and Og were defeated.


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